I’d love to introduce you to a special little space in our home today: the pantry. I know, I know, not nearly as exciting as a nursery remodel or tearing down a bathroom, but wait until you see what we have in store for this 4×4′ space!
That’s an in-progress photo for you from the middle of last year.
We actually framed it out back when we built our guest bathroom from the original three hallway closets that used to take up this space. It was Kevin’s idea to save a bit of that room for storage in the kitchen. I wanted it all for the bathroom and now I’m SO happy that we marked off more space for storage (especially since we are three closets lighter in the house).
The pantry has made much improvement since then! I haven’t wanted to blog about it all since I had no ‘after’ picture to share (and that’s no fun), so now I can catch you all up and hopefully, very soon, share the finished pantry! The cans and boxes smashed into our kitchen cupboards will rejoice.
But let’s start at the beginning… here’s the layout of the three closets that were in the very center of our house.
Here’s an overhead shot of the floor plan of our house the day we moved in:
And how the house looks now, note the three closets at the very center that no longer exist:
We began work on the new bathroom in 2011 and finished up just about a year ago. There’s the spot of the future pantry as we were just beginning to demo.
Then slowly the space transformed from a bathroom closet into a kitchen pantry when we decided to move the access door to face the kitchen.
And so a wall was added so that on the opposite side of the closet there was just enough room for a new bathtub/shower.
And when I say it was a tight squeeze…
But slowly the pantry began to take shape and visions of super organized shelves with alphabetical labeling and perfectly partitioned baskets and drawers began filling my dreams (ha!).
The pantry has turned into the man cave of the house (not to be confused with the one that’s in our garage…). Kevin drew up plans, researched like crazy, tracked down salvaged wood, an industrial pendant, rope lighting (yes, you read that right), a bag of wine corks and even a wine fridge. We bought that guy last spring (even though it is being hooked up for the first time as we speak) and on sale, I believe, pre Europe and all of the big remodeling we finished last fall. We must have been feeling very very giddy about the transformation because I can’t believe that squeezed itself into the budget .
Being the home brewer that he is, I expect the little fridge will more frequently be filled up with local San Diegan and home brew bottles.
And so this:
Slowly transformed into this:
Kevin really wanted a clear door. Now we must be a super organized family – every guest can actually see inside our pantry (gasp).
But we did stain, frame and install the door ourselves to save a little $. And to stain in the exact same color our kitchen sliding doors.
I’m on a mission to update every door knob in our home to oil rubbed bronze. Even back when the rest of the world was on their silver kick I have always loved the look of ORB in old homes and installed a deeply discounted kitchen faucet in our island (maybe that’s why it was so discounted?? Just not cool enough at the time). So clean, so simple and looks great with the stain.
Soon the outside of door was patched and painted a matching Buzz Brown to the rest of the kitchen, and the light switch covers were added back to their appropriate outlets.
And here she is today!
I can’t wait to show you the inside as soon as Kevin finishes up his pallet salvaging…
PS We’ve been on a kitchen kick! All kitchen remodel posts sorted on the blog right here.
PPS Today is my Mom’s birthday!! To the greatest mother on the planet, I love you so very much. Happy, happy birthday and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!!
Love you, Mom & Nana!
Tags: DIY, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Construction, DIY, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »
This wax paper project is a really fun way to spice up a simple dessert, and perfect for Valentine’s Day with a heart shaped cut out like the one I made for this chocolatey gooey treat.
Brownies look so much fancier in a tart pan, no?
Liv and I used wax paper, scissors and powdered sugar to create a little design, and it took us just a few minutes to make these ordinary sheet brownies a little prettier. A heart shape is easy to cut out and perfect for the upcoming holiday, but wax paper is such an easy medium to work with that you could cut out just about any shape, set of initials, numbers for a birthday cake… you name it. And no need to stick to just powdered sugar, colored sprinkles or sugar would make for colorful designs!
I’m thinking this would be especially pretty on a flourless chocolate cake, individual cupcakes, or now that the imagination is spinning, really any dessert with a flat top.
The reverse of the template is equally special, an entirely different effect.
Soooo simple, but let’s break it down just for fun .
Wax Paper Dessert Template
Materials: wax paper, scissors, dessert, powdered sugar
Bake up your most delicious dessert of choice and let cool (the wax paper will stick to any warm dessert, so completely cool is a must to avoid pulling the top up and off of your baked good).
I chose a heart shape because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! And it’s super simple to snip out of wax paper (fold the paper in half for an even easier cut).
Liv thought the heart shape was cool, too.
I ended up making several different shapes and sizes for my powdered sugar topping, the more the merrier.
I added my hearts to my dessert in a somewhat random pattern, and filled bits of wax paper into gaping holes that I thought might let powdered sugar through (and where I didn’t want it to be).
The beauty of wax paper over any other template material (cardstock, vellum, sheet protectors, etc) is that with a little body heat (aka the touch of your fingers), it will lightly adhere to the dessert to create a nice little barrier, but not enough to tear the top.
Then sprinkle away!
I don’t have a fancy powdered sugar dispenser so I just used my good ole tea steeper (what is this called? a tea ball? a tea spoon?), filled it up with powdered sugar and shook. It’s nice because it’s small and you can control exactly where that sugar ends up.
Slowwwwllly peel away your template and voila!
Or use the reverse of your cut outs to create an entirely different look.
Here’s the process in one nice little collage:
So pretty! Ready for a candlelit dinner and a Valentine’s date night…
Tags: Decorating, Desserts, DIY, Parties & Entertaining, Recipes, Tutorial, Valentine's Day
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Holidays, Parties & Entertaining, Recipes | 6 Comments »
One of my favorite, super-quick-to-throw-together ideas from Liv’s party was to create little favor pouches for gummy bears to hand out to all of the kids on their way home.
I didn’t get a very clear photo of the treat bags at the actual party, but here’s the gist on how we put them together:
The grey arrows indicate where a piece of double sided tape was added to adhere two sides together. The pouches were popping open after a while, so I might try something stronger than plain old sticky tape next time. Maybe even cute staples or scrapbooking tape + a dab of glue in a few key areas (such as the corners).
They were a cute and easy addition to the party! And we literally made them as people were walking in (and as it dawned on me that I had meant to put favor bags together but had completely forgotten about them… luckily I remembered a few variations of this idea on Pinterest - not to mention those cool popsicles that used to be sold out of similar pouches when I was a kid – and happened to have paper and pink candy on hand!). Big thanks to my brother and friend Trish (the invaluable party co-preppers) for helping me assemble.
PS this would be very cute for Valentine’s Day treats, don’t you think?
Tags: Baby Shower, Birthday, By Color, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Pink, Tutorial, Valentine's Day, Wedding
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Holidays, Olivia, Parties & Entertaining | 1 Comment »